To achieve the greatest cake volume, ingredients should be room temperature.
Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of meringue powder to make the cake rise higher.
When separating eggs for cake, make sure the whites stay free of any yolks or they will not beat to maximum volume.
Toss nuts, raisins and other dried fruit lightly in flour to keep them from sinking to the bottom of cake batter.
Do not overmix cake batter. Mixing too long at a high speed can result in large air holes that cause the cake to fall in the center.
Heavy aluminum or dark, nonstick-coated pans are the best choice for baking. They reflect heat away from the cake resulting in a light brown, tender crust.
Eliminate overcooked corners on a cake by using a round pan instead of a square one.
Use Pan Release, shortening or cooking spray to grease cake pans. Butter, margarine or oil can make cake stick to the pan and over brown.
Cake pans should only be filled 1/2 to 3/4 full. Use leftover batter to make cupcakes.
For consistent layers when making a layer cake, weigh the batter on a scale and divide it equally between the pans, or use a measuring cup to assure each pan contains the same amount.
To promote even baking, make sure cake pans do not touch each other or the sides of the oven during baking.
Be careful not to open the oven door during the first 15 minutes of baking. The sudden movement and temperature change can cause the cake to fall.
If a cake starts to brown too quickly, cover it loosely with aluminum foil.
Cake is done when it shrinks away from the sides of the pan and springs back when touched lightly with your fingertip.
To test for doneness, insert a toothpick into the center of the cake. If it comes out clean, the cake is done.
Cool layer cakes in the pan for 5 - 10 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack.
To quickly split a layer cake in half, use a piece of unflavored dental floss or cake leveler. Cake cannot be cold, must be at least room temperature.
After filling a cake pan with batter, tap it gently on the counter to remove any air pockets.
To get the best cake height when making angel food cake, do not grease or flour the pan unless the recipe calls for it.
To keep the tops and bottoms of unfrosted cakes from becoming sticky, make sure they are completely cooled before covering and storing.
Cool cakes completely before frosting or the frosting will melt and cause the layers to slide.
Anchor the bottom of a cake with a dab of frosting to keep it from sliding when frosting or transporting it to another location. Or place the cake directly on the serving plate or cake board when turning it over after removing from the oven. The moisture that develops while cooling will anchor the cake to the serving plate.
Refrigerate cakes with very moist ingredients such as apples, bananas, carrots, zucchini, custard or whipped cream fillings and toppings.
Cakes stay fresh longer when stored in an airtight storage container.